|"Elly was happy 'cause she looked so fine.|
'Now go to the game, and have a good time!"
' her fairy godmother told her.
“Once upon a time, or so they tell me, there was a girl, called Cinder-Elly,
Elly was good and she was pretty. She lived with her folks in New York City. With Mom and Dad and Sue and Nelly. Her sisters were very mean to Cinder-Elly. When school let out, they’d watch TV. They’d ask Cinder-Elly to serve iced tea. Or else they’d play a video game. But they never asked Elly to do the same. “ They made life hard on their little sister and kept her busy. “She worked so hard it was a pity, she had no fun in New York City. But then one day El got a note. So did her sisters. Somebody wrote: Sue, El, and Nelly, We picked your name. You’ve won free tickets to the basketball game.” Well, we all know what happened next. One excuse after another from mom and the sisters, and next thing you know: “ Elly’s big sister’s went out shopping and Elly stayed home and did the mopping.” Soon the night of the game came around, and Elly, left at home, went to sit out on the stoop. As she watched them go “an old lady came by and said, ‘Elly, hello!’ ‘Excuse me,’said El, ‘But I know the all the dangers. I’m never allowed to speak to strangers. “ The old lady introduced herself as Elly’s godmother, and after awhile, Elly remembered who she was. When the woman said she had brought something to help, Elly could not help but wonder what it might be. Then the fairy (for that is what she was), “Waved her cane once; El squeaked like a flute. Her clothes had turned into a basketball suit! ‘And here’s something else to go with your clothes — glass sneakers,’ said Godma, ‘you’ll need two of those.” Well, Elly had to tell the kind lady that all she had wanted to do was to WATCH the game, not PLAY in it! So the lady waved her cane again and gave Elly “ a satiny shirt, with a beautiful, flowery, red miniskirt.” Now Elly had another problem to figure out: how was she supposed to get to the game, anyhow? “That’s an easy one dear, I’ve got a plan. I’ll send you off on this old garbage can.’ She waved her cane and said, ‘Kerplike!’ The garbage can became a bike!” Elly hopped on and her godmother warned her that her clothes and bike would do a backward transformation at midnight, so she’d better be home by then. She pedaled off as fast as she could. Her school’s best player was making a shot when she got there: “Let’s go, Prince Charming!’ El yelled with the rest. Of all her school’s players Prince was the best. Prince was passing the ball, but he looked at the stands. Boom! Some huge guy knocked the ball from his hands. Elly stood on her toes and raised her arms fast. She caught that ball before it flew past. “ The crowd went wild! Everyone cheered for that cool girl in the red miniskirt. Except for Sue and Nelly. There was something kind of familiar about that girl, they thought. Now, “Prince stared at Elly and said ‘Glad to meetcha. After the game, let’s go get some pizza!” Well, the game ended and Prince went to “shower and blow dry [his] hair”, and Elly knew that it was time to go. In the crowd her shoe laces came undone, and by the time she left the gym it was late! She ran...but she lost one of her shoes, and when she stopped to look for it, found herself wearing her school clothes again, with no bike in sight. “Next morning, Cinder-Elly tried giving Prince a call, but his number wasn’t listed in the book at all. At the same time, Charming sat at a table. He drew the sneaker as well as he was able. Beneath it he wrote for all to see, ‘If you see this sneaker, please telephone me.” Then he photocopied it and taped it up all over the neighborhood. Well, of course Sue and Nelly saw those signs, and of course they called up Prince, just to see if he would really come over. When he got there, “Prince was surprised to see Nelly and Sue. He said,’I don’t remember either of you.’ Sue tried the shoe and fell down flat. ‘Poor Sue!’ laughed Nell, ‘Your foot’s too fat!’ Next Nelly tried and went into a tizzy. The shoe was so tight it made her feel dizzy.” That’s when Elly came out and asked if she could have a turn. Of course the shoe fitted her perfectly. Just then, there was a knock at the door, and in walked the fairy godmother. When Elly asked what took her so long to get there, “ I’ve been busy. ‘she answered, ‘but I know my duty. To see Cinder-Elly and her friend, Prince Cutie!” After everyone stopped talking at once, Sue and Nelly told Elly that they were really sorry they’d treated her so badly, and Elly forgave them, on condition that they never acted that way again.
“You’re right, Cinder-Elly, and we promise we know it. If ever we feel mean again, we just won’t show it.” Now Elly changed into some more comfortable shoes (when it came right down to it, glass sneakers were pretty impractical). And she and Prince “walked down the street. Holding hands, pretty snappy. And everyone lived forever happy.”
Cinder-Elly (Picture Puffins) by Minters, F. Illustrated by Karas, G.B. Carmel, California: Hampton-Brown Books
Notes: This book is one I purchased second hand. On the front cover is a label, marking at as part of the "Into English" program, Level E, Kit 6. This book is an appealing one for older kids, English Language Learners, and New York City lovers. The vocabulary is lots of fun.
Montessori Connection: American Cities/New York City/State Capitals/Sacramento, CA
1. Read Cinder-Elly, and look at the pictures carefully. How would you describe the places that Cinder-Elly visits?
2. Learn more about New York City: This Is New York. Ages 9-12:
1. Read the story and make a list of slang expressions used.
2. Learn more about New York City, and state capitals of the USA:Frommer's New York City with Kids or Time Out New York Kids.
3. Watch The Chaplin Collection, Vol. 2 (City Lights / The Circus / The Kid / A King in New York / A Woman of Paris / Monsieur Verdoux / The Chaplin Revue / Charlie - The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin), which includes some of the most famous old movies about New York.